Just a quick YA book review today, pumpkins - I am up to my [pick a body part you don't mention in polite company] in holiday crafting and carding and cocktail recipes.
What? Cocktail recipes are not part of everyone's year-end frenzy? Huh. What do you guys do?
Rosemary Clement-Moore delivers two things that have become the normal main features of YA books for girls: cold supernatural thrills and hot boy romance. What makes her hot boys and cold thrills stand out from all the rest are the girls that navigate the spaces between them: they are aggravated and amused, intrigued and insulted, cool but occasionally klutzy. They may find themselves covered in bat crap, but they will likely leave with an awesome exit line. Their narration conveys the knowing but self-conscious tone that is native to all teenage girls.
In Texas Gothic, strange doings are afoot at a big ol' cattle ranch in the west Texas Hill Country. Has an archaeological dig disturbed a centuries-old ghost? Or are nefarious humans taking advantage of local folklore to scare people away, and if so... why? Teenaged Amy Goodnight, the only intentionally "normal" member of a family of benign but powerful witches, seems to be the only one who can get to the bottom of The Mystery of the Mad Monk... but not only is she mortified at the Scooby Doo-ness of the whole "Mad Monk" thing, she is also nearly literally mortified by the ghost's overtures.
If you enjoyed Nancy Drew's The Secret of Shadow Ranch as a kid (yum, cowboys!) but are too self-aware to let yourself get caught up in silly stuff like The Ghost Whisperer, this is the book for you. Gotta love gothic.